Martin Luther King Jr. discusses the advantages and purposes for his theory of nonviolent direct action in his Letter From Birmingham City Jail. He shows four basic steps that must be taken to achieve nonviolent action. They include 1) collection of facts to determine whether injustices are alive; 2) negotiation; 3) self-purification; and 4) direct action. Each of these steps will be explained as part of King's argument later in this essay. The main purpose of a nonviolent campaign is to force any community to confront a problem rather than refuse to negotiate or face a specific issue. In the letter, King discusses his group's reasons for coming to Birmingham. He states that Birmingham is "probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States" and that much violence has taken place against Negroes there. He goes on to discuss how his attempts to negotiate with white merchants to remove racially offensive signs from store windows had failed. This caused King and many others to become discontent. There was also resentment towards white people because Negroes made up an overwhelmingly sizable part of the poor. Violence had evoked a fear in all Negroes, and resentment built up against the whites. King discusses how leaders have asked him to wait to take action, but he rejects this request by saying it is "difficult to wait". He simply refuses to sit back and watch his people being hurt and oppressed time after time. He claims that the white moderate is the group that is more devoted to discriminate blacks because they care more about order than justice. These moderates are complacent and would rather see no tension instead of the presence of jus...
... middle of paper ...
...nk that if King were alive today to witness the recent events at the World Trade Center, he would again preach nonviolence for the American people. He would be saddened to see our government retaliate with violence. I don't think the United States would be able to follow his four steps of nonviolence. We have achieved the first two steps of recognizing the direct injustice against us, and we have attempted to negotiate with the leaders of the Taliban. I think our country would not be able to reach the step of self-purification. As the ultimate power in the world, the U.S. would not be able to simply accept blows against our government, freedom and liberty. I think it would be hard to solve this terrorism today with nonviolence tactics only. I think this because it is an international, political, and economical issue rather than a social injustice against a minority.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter from the Birmingham City Jail, King speaks about the society he and all other African Americans are living in. He starts to discuss just and unjust laws and states the difference between the two: “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.” Most people, at the time, thought that if a law is in place, it is for the better of society. The idea held by mostly white America that the brutality the police officers are inflicting on civilians who fight against systemic racism as a way to keep order adds to Kings problems with the current state of society.... [tags: African American, Black people, White American]
1415 words (4 pages)
- The mighty river flows through the mountains with liquidity and nurture providing life for all those who wish to take a sip from it. Yet the river is powerful in its own force destroying even the largest rocks, crumbling them into small pieces. People may be able to stop the river for a short time or even dry it up but the water always comes back in one form or another, every dam is bound to fail. Some people have been able to harness the power of the river, redirecting the mighty water making it flow in constructive ways.... [tags: Discrimination, Logic, Emotion ]
654 words (1.9 pages)
- Martin Luther King Jr., one of the greatest speakers for the Black civil rights movement, had written many great works in his time. Two of his pieces stand out as his greatest works, Letter from Birmingham City Jail; a letter written from a jail in Birmingham where he was arrested for demonstrating peacefully, to clergymen who didn't agree with his views, and I Have a Dream; a speech given by King in front of the Washington Memorial at a huge civil rights tea party. Both works convey the same message: the time has come where Black Americans will not stand for civil injustices any longer.... [tags: comparison compare contrast]
1914 words (5.5 pages)
- In a letter written from the Birmingham City Jail in 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. made the proclamation that Birmingham, Alabama was, “Probably the most segregated city in the United States”. Martin Luther King’s, Why We Can’t Wait, initially provides the argument for why African Americans were ready to seek equality in a part of the country whose roots were planted deeply into segregation. King stated in his introduction that “The war had been won but not at just peace. Equality had never arrived.... [tags: segregation, Martin Luther King]
529 words (1.5 pages)
- Augustine Ugwu Professor Professor Ileana Loubser ENGL1301 November 2, 2014 Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail Essay Analysis Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” is an emotional gaze into the authenticity of racial discrimination in 1960s America. King established this letter to his fellow clergymen which aims to address their concerns on the subject of the wisdom and timing of the nonviolent actions and the unjust demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama that he and other fellow leaders carried out in 1963.... [tags: African American, Racism, Martin Luther King, Jr.]
1871 words (5.3 pages)
- In 1963, when African-Americans were fighting for black and white equality, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” While confined in the Birmingham jail, King felt the need to respond to a letter published in the local newspaper. This letter criticized King’s intentions during his visit by saying they were untimely. As a way to defend his actions, King put together a number of arguments and beliefs that proved why taking direct action was necessary during a time of racial discrimination.... [tags: Black people, African American]
836 words (2.4 pages)
- Through reading Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, it is hard not be impressed and taken aback by his eloquence with words, especially when you factor in that he is writing this letter from inside of a jail cell. He demonstrates how educated and intelligent he is as he is able to write this lengthy letter, complete with biblical citations and references, from within the jail and without access to any resources (Maranzani, 2013). Through reading King’s letter, and admiring his employment of Aristotle’s canons of rhetoric, and other rhetorical strategies, as well as his effective use of pathos, I have discovered that there are many underlying elements that go into being an effe... [tags: Rhetoric, Letter from Birmingham Jail]
1518 words (4.3 pages)
- Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King Jr. writes the Clergymen that have written him a letter disputing his actions in Birmingham. King is disturbed and offended by the Clergymen disagreeing with his purpose in Birmingham. King say he normally does not respond to criticism because it would waste to much precious time, but since these were men of good will he wanted to give his answers to their statements. In King's letter he appeals to many emotions as pathos, ethos, and logos to appeal to his audience.... [tags: Letter Birmingham Jail Luther King Essays]
1150 words (3.3 pages)
- King’s Letter Considered a Classic Argument After being jailed in the Birmingham city jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister who preached nonviolence, wrote this response to a published statement by eight fellow clergymen from Alabama. This letter was not only composed under somewhat constricting circumstances but was written in a way that can be analyzed to be considered as a classic argument. Not only does it contain the five elements needed in a rhetorical situation, but the letter includes the six parts of an argument, the five types of claims, and even the three types of proofs.... [tags: Martin King Analysis Letter Birmingham]
1268 words (3.6 pages)
- Analysis of Letter from Birmingham by Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr., is one of the most recognized, if not the greatest civil rights activist in this century. He has written papers and given speeches on the civil rights movement, but one piece stands out as one of his best writings. “Letter from Birmingham” was an intriguing letter written by King in jail in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. He was responding to a letter written by eight Alabama Clergyman that was published in a Birmingham Alabama newspaper in 1963 regarding the demonstrations that were occurring to stop segregation.... [tags: Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Racism Essays]
938 words (2.7 pages)
- A précis concerning Burleigh Wilkins, Can Terrorism Be Justified
- Terrorism and Morality by Haig Khatchadourian
- Analysis of Thompson's Article, A Defense of Abortion
- Pro-Child / Pro-Choice: An Exercise in Doublethink? by Judith A. Boss
- Interpretation of A Feminist View on Pornography
- Douglas N. Husak's A Moral Right to Use Drugs